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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that $500 million has been allocated towards the national health emergency response.
  • The money will be used to facilitate cleanup activities, as part of the national Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) response, and other urgent needs of the Ministry of Health.
  • Some parish councils have already started cleanup work and the Government has identified funding to begin a sustained exercise starting in the worse affected areas.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that $500 million has been allocated towards the national health emergency response.

The money will be used to facilitate cleanup activities, as part of the national Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) response, and other urgent needs of the Ministry of Health.

The Prime Minister was speaking on Thursday, October 9, during a press briefing held at her offices in Kingston.

Last week, the Government had announced that $150 million was allocated in response to the current outbreak of the Chikungunya virus.

“The increase in expenditure is a step in the right direction, but this is not a problem that will be solved by only money,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said, noting that citizens must help to rid the country of mosquitoes, which spread CHIKV.

She said the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will play a critical role in ensuring that garbage collected during the cleanup activities will be removed from communities in a timely manner.

She further informed that some parish councils have already started cleanup work and the Government has identified funding to begin a sustained exercise starting in the worse affected areas.

“Our main focus is assisting Jamaicans in our communities to clean up our surroundings and reduce mosquito breeding. This is an urgent national task that must involve everybody. Our responsibility to ourselves, our families and our country requires our personal involvement for the long haul,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister assured the country that there are enough supplies of paracetomol available free of cost at all public health facilities, in addition to the supplies at private retail outlets. “Therefore there is no need for any unreasonable increase in the price of the commodity,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She further informed that some health centres in the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) have extended their hours and will now be open from 8:00 am to 8: 00 pm.

The centres include: Morant Bay and  Seaforth in St. Thomas; Hagley Park, Olympic Gardens, Duhaney Park, Windward Road and Maxfield Park in Kingston and St. Andrew; and St. Jago Park, Greater Portmore and Linstead in St. Catherine.

Jamaica’s National Emergency Response Team has been activated to coordinate and support the country’s response to the current outbreak of the Chikungunya virus.

The team, which is headed by Mrs. Simpson Miller, involves representation from key ministries, agencies and non-government stakeholders with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) having a lead role in coordination and implementation.

The National Emergency Response Team’s activation is at level two (2) meaning that activation is related to a specific event or events.

 

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